Feeding broodies while on vacation

texsuze

Songster
8 Years
Dec 17, 2012
236
366
174
Texas Hill Country
We're taking a 5-day trip next week and pet sitter will be handling all critter care.

I have two broodies in my small flock of seven right now (10 month old Dominiques) that will simply remain broody for the moment, no egg-hatching, no chicks. The broodies sometimes leave the nest box to run around and eat, but not routinely or reliably. Right now I feed them a mash of their standard layer feed, and also give chopped grapes, and I am offering them commercial "grit" both morning and evening---"breakfast in bed"
smile.png
They readily consume the mash and grapes but not taking grit right now.

Question: Should I give pet sitter instructions to continue the broody feeding routine, or, should I have her remove broodies from nest boxes when she makes her a.m. and p.m. visits?

My concerns are: (1) adequate water intake, although they get wet food mash & grapes
(2) pet sitter ability to remove broodies without stressing them
(3) need for broodies to consume grit, if that is necessary

Your experiences in a similar situation are appreciated!
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,032
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Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
We're taking a 5-day trip next week and pet sitter will be handling all critter care.

I have two broodies in my small flock of seven right now (10 month old Dominiques) that will simply remain broody for the moment, no egg-hatching, no chicks. The broodies sometimes leave the nest box to run around and eat, but not routinely or reliably. Right now I feed them a mash of their standard layer feed, and also give chopped grapes, and I am offering them commercial "grit" both morning and evening---"breakfast in bed"
smile.png
They readily consume the mash and grapes but not taking grit right now.

Question: Should I give pet sitter instructions to continue the broody feeding routine, or, should I have her remove broodies from nest boxes when she makes her a.m. and p.m. visits?

My concerns are: (1) adequate water intake, although they get wet food mash & grapes
(2) pet sitter ability to remove broodies without stressing them
(3) need for broodies to consume grit, if that is necessary

Your experiences in a similar situation are appreciated!

While you may not see them do it every day, the broodies do leave the nest 1-2 times a day to eat, drink and expel waste....the breakfast in bed may make you feel better, but is unnecessary and increases the chances of a fouled nest. I would advise her to do neither.
 

texsuze

Songster
8 Years
Dec 17, 2012
236
366
174
Texas Hill Country
Thanks for feedback. I'll be monitoring the next few days till we leave to see if/when my broodies get off the nest boxes. One did yesterday, the other did not. In the past, I have simply removed the broody from the nest box, put her down and let her do her thing for a while. However, those were hand-raised, friendly, pet chickens (now 5 years old!) who didn't mind being held. These Dominique broodies are a bit more sensitive.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
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Southern Oregon
Agree with Mare and Den. Folks are always sure their broody hens don't leave the nest, but if they didn't chickens would have died out......they need to stretch, dust bathe, etc every day.
 

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